British love for the printed word is apparently over.
Consumers spent more on music, streaming video, movies and video games in 2017 than on books, magazines and newspapers, according to new data from the Entertainment Retailers Association. It is the first time revenue from home entertainment exceeded print media.
Key drivers included digital services such as Spotify, Steam, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Deezer, Sky, Apple and Google.
According to research prepared for ERA by the Leisure Industries Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, Britons spent £7.2bn ($9.91 billion) on music, video and games compared to £7.1bn ($9.77 billion) on books, magazines and newspapers.
“It is an extraordinary testament to the appeal and resonance of digital entertainment services that they have helped home entertainment to hit this milestone nearly 550 years since the invention of the printing press,” ERA CEO Kim Bayley said in a statement.
While entertainment sales reached an all-time-high for the third year, spending on print was stagnant and substantially down on its 2007 peak of £8.3bn ($11.4 billion).
The entertainment growth rate (8.8%) exceeded that of virtually every sector monitored by the Leisure Industries Research Centre, including dining (up 7.7%), alcohol (up 6%), foreign travel (up 4.4%) and gambling (up 1%). Total leisure spending was up 5.2%.
“The 2008-2009 recession hurt both the entertainment and reading markets,” said Dr. Themis Kokolakakis with Leisure Industries Research Centre. “Since 2012, the entertainment market has recovered very strongly producing record 2017 results. [Print] media is under pressure, partly because of the growth of streaming services, partly because there is so much competition for people’s time and attention. Entertainment has grown while reading has stagnated.”
Meanwhile, five years ago more than 80% of revenue was generated by buy-to-own formats such as discs or downloads. In 2017, 56% of revenue came from music and streaming video, transactional VOD or subscriptions to online multiplayer games, digital micro-transactions and in-app purchases on mobile devices.
“The success of the entertainment business is a testament to the power of innovation, creating new ways for people to enjoy the music, video and games they love,” Bayley said.
Notable packaged media growth included boxed software for consoles such as the new Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4, which generated their first growth in 10 years – up 5% to £750m ($1 billion); and vinyl albums, with sales up 34% to £87.7m ($120 million).
“Digital services may be grabbing the headlines, but physical retailers continue to identify new opportunities to showcase and drive sales of discs,” said Bayley. “Vinyl is a prime example of retailers nurturing demand for a product most people had long written off. It would be foolish to underestimate the consumers continuing affection for physical product.”
Finally, Ed Sheeran’s album Divide was the best-selling music, video or game title in the UK in 2017, achieving sales of more than 2.7 million units.
In 2017, 33 music, video or game titles sold over half a million units. Of these, 10 sold over 1 million units and three over 2 million. Of the Top 40 biggest sellers, seven were music albums, 10 were video games and 23 were videos, led by a trio of titles from Walt Disney Studios – Beauty & The Beast, Rogue One – A Star Wars Story and Moana.
|ERA Entertainment Chart 2017|
|1||Albums||Divide||Ed Sheeran||Warner Music||2,702,839|
|2||Video games||FIFA 18||Electronic Arts||2,696,721|
|3||Video games||Call of Duty: WWII||Activision Blizzard||2,442,416|
|4||Video||Beauty and The Beast (2017)||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment||1,484,565|
|5||Video||Rogue One – A Star Wars Story||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment||1,380,402|
|6||Video||Moana||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment||1,293,787|
|7||Video||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||Warner Home Video||1,279,850|
|8||Video games||Grand Theft Auto V||Take 2||1,080,022|
|9||Video||Bridget Jones’s Baby||Universal Pictures Home Entertainment||1,052,753|
|10||Albums||Human||Rag’n’Bone Man||Sony Music||1,001,913|
|11||Video||Guardians of The Galaxy – Vol 2||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment||873,825|
|12||Video||Trolls||20th Century Fox Home Entertainment||872,586|
|13||Video||Sing||Universal Pictures Home Entertainment||805,342|
|14||Video||Dunkirk||Warner Home Video||753,429|
|15||Video games||Assassin’s Creed Origins||Ubisoft||679,965|
|16||Video games||Destiny 2||Activision Blizzard||673,551|
|17||Video games||Star Wars Battlefront II||Electronic Arts||658,814|
|18||Video games||Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy||Activision Blizzard||651,354|
|19||Video||Despicable Me 3||Universal Pictures Home Entertainment||631,748|
|20||Video||Logan||20th Century Fox Home Entertainment||614,631|
|21||Video||Doctor Strange||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment||612,745|
|22||Albums||Now That’s What I Call Music 96||Various Artists||Sony Music/Universal Music||601,906|
|23||Albums||Now That’s What I Call Music 97||Various Artists||Sony Music/Universal Music||595,547|
|24||Video||Wonder Woman||Warner Home Video||591,316|
|25||Video games||Tom Clancey’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands||UBISOFT||574,889|
|26||Albums||Now That’s What I Call Music 96||Various Artists||Sony Music/Universal Music||560,286|
|27||Video||Spider-Man – Homecoming||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment||551,227|
|28||Video||Pirates of The Caribbean – Salazars||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment||538,735|
|29||Video||The Girl on The Train||20th Century Fox Home Entertainment||525,996|
|30||Video||La La Land||Elevation Sales||525,342|
|31||Albums||The Thrill of It All||Sam Smith||Universal Music||501,952|
|32||Video||The Boss Baby||20th Century Fox Home Entertainment||501,453|
|33||Video||Fast & Furious 8||Universal Pictures||500,617|
|34||Video||The Lego Batman Movie||Warner Home Video||494,446|
|35||Video games||Gran Turismo: Sport||Sony Computer Ent.||484,933|
|36||Albums||Glory Days||Little Mix||Sony Music||468,173|
|37||Video||Fifty Shades Darker||Universal Pictures||466,119|
|38||Video||Hacksaw Ridge||Elevation Sales||465,138|
|39||Video games||Horizon Zero Dawn||Sony Computer Ent.||456,374|
|40||Video||War For The Planet Of The Apes||20th Century Fox Home Entertainment||435,440|